Here’s what I think – Maybe skip 50 Shades of Grey?

I avoid delving into pop culture too much on here. But I have opinions, folks. Fancy that?

And what kind of person would I be if I wasn’t talking about Fifty Shades of Grey? Because er’ybody be talking about 50 Shades of Grey.

The movie adaptation opens nationwide today. And it’s gonna make a lot of money, just wait and see on Sunday when the final box office numbers roll in. 

Half of the country will see it. The other half may not, but they will still have an opinion on it. 

I will be honest from the jump – I haven’t read the books nor do I plan to. But I have read enough about it, and the varying opinions on it, to have the feel of things. 

It’s actually a very brilliant move, opening a film right before Valentine’s Day. Though this is one that I will not be dragging my husband to see. 

I have been married for nearly ten years. But there isn’t a lot that I can say with any iota of authority that I definitively KNOW about marriage. Sometimes, I’m stunned as to how I got so lucky to find my best friend and soul mate at such a young age. 

I see a movie like 234 shades of Grey, or whatever it’s called, and I’m told it’s provocative. It’s edgy. It’s never been done before. 

Part of that may be true. 

But provocative? Eh, I dunno. 

I read that lots of housewives gobbled up the pages of 50 Shades of Grey with fervor. And those same housewives attribute the trilogy to a renewal of passion in their own boudoirs. 

That’s the casual assumption, I think. That if you have been married for a long while, you need “help” in the bedroom. You lose the idea of what it means to have fireworks and be sexy with and for one another. 

This is such a sad premise. Of course, there are seasons in life where this is true. I currently have a breastfeeding newborn and a saggy belly. I. Get. It. 

And what could ole married-for-ten-years me know about seduction and passion? Isn’t a lot of our love-making just out of duty and obligation at this point? Because it’s not like we have a choice in the matter of partners, right? Because variety equates erotic, both in the number of partners and in the manner of sex.

Once you’re married, it’s like you’re put out to the proverbial pasture with your best days squarely behind the two of you and a future of twin beds side-by-side at night awaiting you. 

I’m ten years deep, currently battling a stomach bug and I have to fight to stay awake past 11, and we don’t have a room in our house that’s exclusive purpose is to house our variety of S&M stuff. Poor me, right?

Let me propose something revelatory to some of you.

I’m married. And a christian. And I believe in the importance of marriage. What if I told you that marriage is also strongly important to God? And not just marriage in the sense of the marital vows, but also the sex part of marriage? God designed marriage, he also designed sex. It’s the way to consummate the covenant of marriage after the vows have been spoken.

It seals the promises made to one another. 

I think that, even if you’re not a christian, you could get down with that idea because bottom line: sex is both sacred, and profoundly important to the health of a relationship. 

It’s serious bidness. 

God says that we should enjoy each other. And christians, I think, get a bad wrap because it looks like we don’t want anybody to have fun – ourselves included. Because we believe that maybe sex has some constraints on it.

It is within the confines of marriage that sex finds its deepest purpose, most profound pleasure and the truest intimacy with your significant other. 

(I am not passing judgement on those who have indulged before marriage. I am seeking to make a point about romance and sex and marriage that perhaps others have not considered before.)

So, part of me gets a touch riled up to see a false, pre-digested and then regurgitated version of romance take such a hold for so many. Especially women. It would be one thing if I felt the books allowed the man and woman to be on equal footing with one another in their dalliances, but I don’t necessarily believe that they do in this case.

I believe that, yet again, we find a young woman with ill-conceived notions of romance and love and sex taken for a ride and finding herself with a man who doesn’t value her in even the slightest other than as his toy. A man I would consider running over with my mini van if he ever came near either of my daughter’s. 

I don’t believe this because I believe women to be innately inferior to men or perpetual victims. Sadly, I believe this because I want better for female characters in books and in film. I believe this because I think someone sat down and wrote this because they believe it to be something that women desperately want. I think that there are those who would think pain always equals pleasure. That a woman wants to be stalked and dominated and lorded over. 

In this culture, we have confused wanting strong men who lead with wanting men who stalk and own us.

Deep down. I don’t think that the book means to be anything other than what it is. But I don’t think that some will know the difference, because so many of us don’t know the difference anymore.

I know about provocation, ladies. And it does not look like 5o Shades of Grey. 

I know a man, who comes home from work every day to his wife who is standing over a stove. And he brings her flowers on occasion and kisses her when he sees her. A kiss that feels like they haven’t kissed in weeks. And he strokes her cheek and tells her how much he missed her that day. 

I know a wife who finds comfort in laying her head on her husband’s chest and listening to his heart beat while they watch the evening news. He strokes her back and smells her hair and they consider going to bed early. 

I know two people who have known only each other for what feels like eons, and who know the thrill and rush that can only come when the walls around each other drop away and they are sunk into new levels of intimacy and relationship with one another. 

I know two people who can find their home, their passion, their thrill in one person alone. And that person knows them in ways that one else does. 

I know two people who have arrived at a new edge of romance and relations and who have dived over it. Who continually reaffirm and recommit themselves to one another alone. 

I know that the premise of 50 Shades seems…sexy. It seems evocative. Who doesn’t want to watch beautiful people make love and find casual escapism? 

But if you happen to go and watch it this weekend, don’t make the mistake of confusing the premise as one of actual relationship and romance. 

It’s not. 

The things the characters do to and for one another? Any two people can do for each other. 

The full of effect of romance and deepest love can only be found in the bowels of deepest and most genuine intimacy. The true pleasures of making love only with someone you have allowed yourself to love, you have chosen to be vulnerable with, cannot be thoroughly contained in the pages of a novel. 

Now that I have probably effectively ruined things for you, I hope you all have a great weekend. Feel free to comment and tell me what you think on the matter. This post was not to start a war, just to propose a new point of view. There will be others that disagree, and that’s okay. But maybe I gave them something to think about?

Happy Friday

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4 thoughts on “Here’s what I think – Maybe skip 50 Shades of Grey?

  1. mrsmuffintop says:

    I am not sure what my stance on the movie is…to be honest, I probably won’t see it. Not because my opinions match yours, but because I never see the movies after I’ve read the books. And to be honest, I think this trilogy got a bad rap. We wouldn’t criticize the characters so harshly in a Sci-Fi novel, because we know it’s fiction. Just as 50 shades is.
    But, I’m straying from the topic! I think you may be coming from a perspective where you both have your faith to guide you; whereas most of North America (in my opinion) hasn’t found a way to include their faith in family life. So it doesn’t come as easy, and they need these little ‘pushes’ to help them in the right direction. Better than the alternative, no?

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    • ashleylecompte says:

      Thank you so much for commenting and for offering up your opinion! It was so elegantly stated. It’s worth talking about, that’s for sure.

      I think that I didn’t drive the point home enough or convey it as well as you can, but I guess my thinking is that sex is very important, and it’s just as important to evangelical christians. It just takes on a new meaning for us, perhaps.

      And while I respect that 50 Shades was never trying to be anything other than what it meant to be, I think some folks took issue that the movies looked more like a romantic story than what it was in the book. I can’t speak to that. But I don’t want people to forget either that intimacy can be just as sexy and fulfilling with the right person.

      Definitely better than the alternative!! 🙂

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  2. Friend says:

    I’m currently taking a “Human Sexuality” course at WSU and have had my mind opened so much, lol. We don’t look at 50 Shades or the like until the week after next (I think…it is on the syllabus, but I can’t recall when, lol), but I did read the books (and have read a variety of beach popcorn smut that is better written) and don’t intend to watch the movie.
    That being said…I know a lot of “problems” surrounding Christians and sex stems from the old concept that sex is only for procreating. Thank God we got past THAT! Because sex in marriage IS for that intimacy you wrote about. That connection of feeling that someone is with you deeply for the long run…has your back and supports you beyond the tangible. Unfortunately, not everyone gets behind that when choosing a sexual partner NOR a marriage partner!
    However, coming at this from an inter-ability Christian marriage, let me throw out there that missionary sex is not always the best fit for each marriage. I don’t agree with more dangerous aspects of sex, but I will say Christian Grey is right in that there is so much more beyond vanilla sex and that it can open new lines of communication, deeper touches of intimacy, and sometimes easier ways to have sex for those who might not be able to maneuver in traditional ways. 😉
    As an FYI, the character didn’t vary partners for the heck of it…he even said he was exclusive with each woman at the time they were…for lack of better words…”dating.” I know it doesn’t make it less menacing, but just throwing it out there. 😉

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    • ashleylecompte says:

      You make great points!!!

      I’m glad that you brought up going beyond the more vanilla-type sexual encounters. And I totally agree. I wanted to go there, but didn’t want to get too explicit, but I absolutely think you are right on. I think when you find the right person, it’s okay to jump in with both feet and explore each other in new ways, so long as it is safe and edifying for the two of you and your marriage. It keeps it interesting. And the intimacy cultivated between the two of you only makes those exotic experiences better. Kudo’s to you for adapting and overcoming in your relationship! I hope that is working out great for you two 😉

      And you make a good point in your last paragraph. I meant to distinguish the whole quantity/variety of partners that people seem to think you MUST have as something more cultural today, rather than the book. But that’s a big difference, so I’m glad you caught that.

      Thanks for commenting!! xoxo

      Like

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